This is what Burgess Hill residents had to say at the annual town meeting

The ‘degeneration’ of Burgess Hill, traffic chaos at McDonald’s and the Northern Arc were key topics discussed at the annual town meeting.

The meeting at Cyprus Hall last Tuesday (April 9), was an opportunity for residents to express their views and ask questions about issues in the town.

Councillor Richard Cherry, Ken Glendinning, council leader Pru Moore, mayor Chris Cherry and councillor Chris Thomas-Atkin at the Burgess Hill annual town meeting

Councillor Richard Cherry, Ken Glendinning, council leader Pru Moore, mayor Chris Cherry and councillor Chris Thomas-Atkin at the Burgess Hill annual town meeting

And it was clear there was a sense of frustration across the hall over what was happening with the town centre regeneration.

“Was NewRiver invited to the meeting to discuss the ‘degeneration’ scheme?,” asked resident Mike Mundy, whose question was met with claps from the audience.

In response, Pru Moore, leader of Burgess Hill Town Council, said: “They were invited but they declined. I can understand people’s frustration but NewRiver are committed to Burgess Hill and I feel it is important that we support them.

“When Lidl move out, which we know has been delayed by six months, they can then start. They can’t move forward until that area is cleared.”

Traffic chaos at McDonald’s continues to be a problem. “It is always busy, especially on a Saturday afternoon,” a resident told the meeting.

In response, Mrs Moore said: “The owner of the McDonald’s agreed to come down and see me with his team. He promised staff would be out at peak times with hand devices to speed things up at the drive-thru.

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“We are meeting with Mid Sussex District Council this month to explore moving things around. There is a lot of work going on.”

At the meeting a presentation was given by Ken Glendinning from Homes England on the Northern Arc. He told the meeting the new homes will ‘strengthen employment offer and will keep people in the town’.

Residents asked when the two primary schools and secondary school were going to be built. “We already don’t have enough school places – what is going to happen to our kids in this town when it grows?” asked one resident.

“We understand the secondary school needs to be open by 2021,” replied Mr Glendinning.

The new community and performance centre planned for the town, to replace Martlets Hall, was discussed.

Residents can now vote on a name for the new building at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GZMC6TP by May 8.